Former Soldiers Travel Country Thanking Supporters - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Former Soldiers Travel Country Thanking Supporters

We always hear about Americans thanking our troops for their sacrifices in their fight against terrorism. But what about soldiers thanking them? We spoke with three soldiers who are driving cross country from California to say thank you.

These men were in the US Army and deployed to Iraq for a year. They returned a few weeks ago and are now making a 21-city tour to personally thank people for their support

It started with a simple letter written by Paulette Nelson of Georgetown, and led to these three soldiers making the trip of a lifetime. The returned her letter, so she could read the words she'd written them:

"I appreciate all you have sacrificed on behalf of American people, we owe you so much. Thank you for protecting our country and our freedom."

"We're going around the country, we're thanking people who are supporting troops in Iraq and Afghanistan," explained former soldier Chris Missick.

When they stopped in Georgetown, Missick, Ryan Albaugh and Kyle Rodgers personally thanked Nelson and her children."

"You wake up every day thinking, 'I'm one day closer to coming home,'" said Albaugh. "The letter you get or the care package, it just means a lot."

A few months ago, Nelson stumbled across Missick's website ( and started sending letters and care packages to Iraq, but she never expected to meet the men she admired so much

"I'm just an average person," she said. "There's nothing special about me that would have him drive across country to see me."

In the last few weeks, Missick and company drove from California to Nevada to Atlanta, thanking dozens of families along the way.

"When we step out of the van, there's always a nice big hug, and I know I'm looking at the face of a true patriot," said Missick.

As for Nelson, she is raising her children to appreciate all the sacrifices our soldiers make and says meeting these real-life heroes is something they'll never forget. "Hopefully, we have friends for life."

Their next stops are Virginia, Washington, DC, and Delaware, just to name a few. If you are interested in reading Missick's blog entries both his trip around the country, visit

Reported by: Hena Daniels,

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